|Canon EOS 70D / 300mm Lens ISO 100 f/13 1/125s|
- Shutter Speed
Camera / Lens EXIF Data
EXIF Data is the identification and listing of an information tag and its value (available for DSLR / Compact / Smartphone cameras after taking the photo) - generally found on your LCD screen viewing image detail or when downloaded in Google Picasa / Adobe Lightroom (and other camera / editing software). Read more>>
Introduction to the Exposure Triangle
Every photo taken with a DSLR / Compact / Smartphone camera will offer / use a variety of settings to expose an image as ideally as possible to the photographer’s vision and planning.
Exposure is a photographic process of light reflecting off a subject through the camera lens onto the camera's image sensor for a specific period of time. The relationship between ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed settings will determine the final exposure of light (for each image) captured by the camera's image sensor - and will represent a given Exposure Value (EV).
Relationship between ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed
In understanding ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed it’s important to note that all three are present in every photo you capture with your camera. The degree in which they are applied will depend on various camera and / or lens settings and lighting conditions. The main camera control over the inter-relationship between the three will be decided by the photographer in selecting the most appropriate shooting mode (in Auto Mode the camera will select the exposure settings, with limited other manual / photographic control).
Aperture demonstration for new photographers View>>
In most cameras today you will not find ISO / Aperture / Shutter Speed settings on the main mode dial of the camera, but either as separate switchgear or tucked inside the menu system – to be used with other settings (when selecting your shooting mode (Auto / P / Av / Tv / M Mode).
Auto-ISO is also an option that many new and experienced photographers are using.
Photographic Genres and the Exposure Triangle
As we developed as photographers we learn how to properly set the exposure for different genres. With Birds in Flight (action) a fast enough shutter speed will be a priority, for a distant landscape the attention / focus will be on a smaller aperture / f/stop. In long exposure / night photography we would like to keep the ISO as low as possible to minimize noise, but may opt for a 30 seconds or longer expose (ito of shutter speed). At all times all three settings of the Exposure Triangle will be configured to assist the photographer with the type of exposure required.
Camera Shooting Modes
In Automatic Mode the camera will decide the exposure settings for the photographer, in the Semi-Automatic Modes (Av / Tv) the camera will decide at least one exposure setting and in Manual Mode the photographer could take full control of all three exposure settings - many photographers who prefer Manual Mode may leave the ISO on Automatic and only set the aperture and the shutter speed.
|P Mode: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS f/5.6 ISO 100|
In Automatic Mode the camera will decide the best exposure and the photographer will have no control over any ISO / Aperture / Shutter Speed settings. Best use: when new to photography and / or uncertain about setting in changing light conditions.
Program (P) Mode
In P mode the camera will control Aperture and Shutter Speed with the photographer full control over ISO settings. Best use: when new to photography, shooting in changing conditions, but have control over ISO settings. Program (P) Mode demonstration Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Aperture Priority (Av) Mode
In Av mode the camera will control Shutter Speed with the photographer full control over Aperture and ISO settings.
Best use: when controlling aperture settings for Depth Of Field (DOF) application in ie. macro / landscape / portraiture / street photography. seascapes / Table Mountain photography Canon EOS 6D / Canon EOS 700D DSLR
Shutter Priority (Tv) Mode
In Tv mode the camera will control Aperture with the photographer in full control of Shutter Speed and ISO settings.
Best use: when controlling shutter speed for subjects in motion or to freeze motion of birds, people and other objects. Motor Sport / Action photography Canon EOS 70D DSLR / Canon EOS 700D DSLR
Manual (M) Mode
In M mode the photographer will have full control over ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed settings.
Best use: when the photographer requires full manual control over all three settings in specific environments in ie. studio, changing light or other challenging conditions. Birds In Flight photography Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EOS 70D / Canon EOS 70D DSLR
Example Image: Inter-relationship of ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed
|Image 1 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm lens Av Mode f/5.6|
More of this Shoot World of Birds Hout Bay Cape Town
Shooting mode: Av (Aperture Priority) with the following EXIF data:
- ISO 640 – (Auto-ISO - controlled by Camera
- f/5.6 - (aperture – controlled by photographer)
- 1/90s - (shutter speed – controlled by camera)
Let’s look at an interpretation and interaction of these exposure EXIF data readings:
|P Mode: EOS 700D / 10-18mm Lens IS0 800 f/4.5|
ISO 100 is generally the setting used for outside / bright light photography and will be set higher as outside natural light or internal artificial light deteriorates. Not uncommon to set ISO 400 for indoor lighting and up to ISO 1600 for outside / low light photography. These various ISO settings are available for the photographer to adjust for low light photography – even to leave the camera on Auto-ISO (for changing daylight / overcast conditions). It is recommended to experiment with ISO 400 - 1600 for after dark / night photography. When doing long exposures (slow shutter speeds) it is recommended to use ISO 100 - 400. Higher ISO demonstration Canon EOS 700D DSLR
Recommended ISO settings:
- ISO 100 or 200 for sunny and bright daylight
- ISO 400 ISO for cloudy days, or indoors
- ISO 800 for indoors (without a flash)
- ISO 1600+ for very low light situations
Disadvantages of high ISO settings:
- More noise visible in the image the higher the ISO value
- Higher ISO’s affects slower shutter speeds (for possible camera shake if handheld)
|Image 2 - Av Mode: f/5.6 ISO 400 1/90s|
f/1.8 f/2.8 f/4 f5.6 f/8 f/16 f/19 f/22 f/32 (This is lens dependent on a DSLR camera system, but in most cameras the setting will be on camera body).
Image 2 EXIF Data:Av Mode
ISO 400 (low light)
f/5.6 (wide aperture for shallow Depth-Of-Field)
Shutter Sped 1/90 seconds
Deep vs; Shallow Depth-Of-Field (DOF)
With a deep DOF more of the entire image will be in focus and its more likely to be used in Landscape Photography with smaller apertures of ie. f/11 – f/16. With shallow DOF certain areas of an image is deliberately out of focus and be used in a variety of genres (Wildlife / Sport / Macro / Portraits) where the photographer deliberately wants to separate the main subject from the background - for this effect, larger apertures will be applied ie. f/1.4 - f/8 (see below image)
Aperture Demo: Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens f/1.8 - f/16 View >>
See Aperture / DOF Demonstration Aperture / DOF Demo
Aperture is used to control the exposure of a deep or a shallow Depth Of field (DOF) for a specific composition. A large f/number allows more light into the camera via the lens ie. f/2.8-f/5.6 and will create a shallow DOF for a close-up subject against a background (isolating a flower from its surroundings). See article Digital Noise vs Blur
|Image 3: Canon EOS 7D Mark II : 1/3200s Manual Mode|
Slow shutter speed
Refer to the article ‘Long Exposures / Night Photography Setup & Tips (Using Av mode) long exposure demo for specific examples to learn more about specific shutter speeds.
Fast shutter speed
To freeze motion photographers use fast shutter speeds to ie freeze the wings of a bird in motion. See Image 3 for the example in which I captured the Bird In Flight (Image 3) at a shutter speed of 1/3200 seconds using Manual Mode: f/6.3 ISO 500 (Auto- ISO).
Suggested Shutter Speeds
To Capture Motion
- Moving water / waterfalls 4+ seconds
- Fireworks 4+ seconds
- Moving car at night 8+ seconds
- Night photography 1+ seconds
To Freeze Action
- Birds in flight 1/1000+ seconds
- Moving water / waterfalls 1/1000+ seconds
- Cars / motorcycles 1/1000 seconds
- Sporting event 1/500 – 1/2000 seconds
|Canon EOS 700D / 100mm Lens f/11 ISO 200 1/125s|
The ‘Exposure Triangle’ settings will be available before every photograph is captured. For the new photographer Auto-mode and / or semi-auto modes such as P / Av / Tv modes will provide assistance in getting the best exposure for a given shooting environment.
New photographers should be in no rush to ‘have to’ understand all exposure settings and shootings modes as soon as possible. Learning about them is important, but more important is getting comfortable with your camera, menu settings and your compositions.
Photography is a visually inspiring journey that if allowed, will not just develop camera / photographic skills or exploring different environments, but contribute to an overall mindfulness and satisfaction of great image capturing (and sharing).
Canon Camera Equipment Used (for example images)
- Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera body
- Canon EOS 7D Mark II Camera body
- Canon EOS 70D DSLR Camera body
- Canon EOS 700D DSLR Camera body
- Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens
- Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens
- Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lens
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens
- Canon EF 24-70mm f4L IS USM lens
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens
- Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Telephoto / Prime lens
- Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5 - 5.6L IS II USM Zoom lens
- Canon Speedlite 430EX II external hotshoe flash
All Text / Images / Model © Vernon Chalmers 2016
(Click to Enlarge)
|Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens f/4 ISO 1600|
|Canon EOS 6D / 70-300mm Lens Av Mode: ISO 320 f/10 1/320s|